Contending with national emergencies that develop into transnational catastrophes gives rise inevitably to concerns raised by libertarians and utilitarians over the extent to which the government — state, local, and federal — can restrict or redirect personal conduct to contain, if not resolve, any existing emergency condition. Using its parens patriae powers to protect the common good — especially the communal benefits of health and safety — government must endeavor to establish health care policies, and here, mandate vaccinations to combat the COVID-19 pathogen, against the benefits that are accruing to the general public. The conclusion drawn from this Article is that reasonable compromises to individual liberties must be permitted in order to guarantee the preservation of society’s general welfare or the common good.
Common Sense or Sensibility: Vaccine Hesitancy, Parens Patriae, and the Common Good, 19 J. Health & Biomedical L. 1 (2022)